Casa Battlo roof, Barcelona travel.
Barcelona is a large, complex city so if you have just a couple of days it may be best to stick to the walkable central-south region from L’Eixample’s Casa Mila down to the beaches of Barceloneta. Possibly fit in a couple of side trips to Sagrada Familia, Parc Guell and Montjuïc using inexpensive taxis if necessary.
However, there is a useful Metro system for those with more time, though it’s not exactly intuitive, including platforms where if you chose the wrong direction you have to exit the turnstiles (and pay again) to reach the other side. Get a day pass.
Bicycles? The city has bike rental stations in many locations so this could be a good way to get around if you have a credit card and feel adventurous, or private cycle rentals and tours are available too. Bikes can be delivered to your hotel.
Buses? Cheap but complicated routing and pick-pocket territory, so only for very savvy turistas.
With over 20 different Barcelona barrios, each with their own charm and character, the best way to get the know them is to stay there and live as the locals do. Perhaps staying in a self-catering apartment and making the most of cooking your own meals with all the fresh ingredients on offer in markets like La Boqueria!
Note that core areas of city are ancient so some apartments are small and don’t have lifts, though they are in the minority.
Superb Catalan and Spanish food is all over Barcelona. Try La Boqueria food market just off La Rambla, with its attendant restaurants every day except Sunday; Barceloneta (the port area) for seafood; Barri Gòtic and the Old Town for little traditional eateries (though take care late at night) and Passeig de Gracia for larger, posher restaurants.
Don’t forget that you can make a great meal just eating tapas snacks (especially good in Barri Gòtic). Spanish people eat dinner REALLY late. An 11pm start is not unusual in Barcelona.
Feb/March pre-lent Carnival, (+ gay version in Sitges)
March-June, Guitar Festival
April, Contemporary Music Week
April/May, Ancient Music Festival
June, Dia de Sant Joan (dancing, music, fireworks)
end of June-August, Festival del Grec (theatre, music, dance)
August, Festa Major de Gràcia (street music and events)
Sept, 4 days, Festes de la Mercè, the city’s biggest party, (parades, street music, human pyramids)
October – December, International Jazz Festival.